Happy (Jewish) New Year – Pray for Gilad

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Shanah Tovah! Happy New Year. Rosh HaShanah (literally the Head of the Year) is also known as the feast of trumpets (see below). As Jews listen for the call of the shofar blasts, they also pray for a POW that hasn’t been allowed a Red Cross visit for more than four years. Two stories from the Jerusalem Post to read on this New Year’s Day. They are lengthy but worth the read if you have the time.

Beloved emblem of a conflicted Israel
Gilad Schalit, ‘The Jerusalem Post’ person of the year, 5770. In many ways, Gilad Schalit has become a metaphor for Israel, and for Israel’s condition.

Shofar, so good
For over 80 years, the same family in south Tel Aviv has been meticulously crafting rams’ horns and shipping them all over Israel and worldwide.

Jews all over the world are marking the start of a new year… the year 5771. Here’s an excerpt from Bible teacher Chuck Missler on Rosh HaShanah.

This week Jewish communities throughout the world will celebrate Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah literally means “head of the year” and commemorates the anniversary of the creation of the world. It is celebrated on the first day of the month of Tishri, which this year starts at sundown on Wednesday, September 8th and ends at nightfall on September 9th.

Kelly Lumi shofarThe commandment to observe Rosh Hashanah is found in Leviticus 23:23-25: “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, ‘Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.'”

It is also mentioned in Numbers 29:1: “And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.”

One of the central features of Rosh Hashanah is the shofar. The shofar is an instrument made from a ram’s horn that sounds somewhat like a trumpet. In the Bible, Rosh Hashanah is referred to as Yom Teruah, the day of the sounding of the shofar, otherwise known as the Feast of Trumpets. The shofar is often representative of Abraham’s offering Isaac to God as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah (Genesis 22). It was then that God provided Abraham with a ram caught by its horns in a thicket as a substitute for Isaac.

Rosh Hashanah is a time of both celebration and repentance. It is a time of spiritual renewal through prayer and deep personal reflection leading up to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on the 10th day of Tishri (Leviticus 23:26-28). Rosh Hashanah is when the Jewish people recognize God as King and Judge over all living things. On Rosh Hashanah we celebrate the creation of the world, when “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good,” (Genesis 1:31).

Missler will write two more articles on the Fall feasts in the coming weeks. You can read them at khouse.org.